In a previous post, we discussed what digital transformation is and what it is not. More than a technology upgrade, digital transformation is about rethinking and adapting how a business functions. The goal is to take full advantage of technology and optimize every area of the organization while focusing on the needs of the customer.
The cloud is an essential part of the digital transformation process.
The fact is, small to midsize businesses (SMBs) started moving to the cloud long before the concept of digital transformation went mainstream. Originally, cloud migration was driven by cost savings and operational efficiency. Instead of building and maintaining an on-premises data center, simply access a cloud provider’s enterprise-grade technology and infinitely scalable resources.
However, many SMBs have resisted moving to the cloud because they’re comfortable with their legacy technology and don’t want to make changes. Others point to outdated misconceptions about control and security.
This mindset may have been acceptable in the early years of cloud services. Today, resistance to cloud adoption prevents digital transformation and growth. Failure to embrace the cloud holds you back. It prevents you from developing competitive advantages and identifying new revenue streams.
That’s because the value proposition of the cloud has moved far beyond cost savings. No longer a “nice to have,” the cloud is a “must have” business tool that enables digital transformation. In fact, some industry experts have stated cloud adoption is the first step towards digital transformation.
Think about what the cloud enables.
The cloud enables anytime, anywhere access to data, applications, and other network resources. It enables anytime, anywhere communication via voice, video, email, chat or text. Users no longer have to be in the same building or a high-tech conference room to have face-to-face meetings and share and edit files. In an age of increasingly mobile workforces and geographically dispersed branch offices, this is a business necessity.
These capabilities translate to simpler, more frequent collaboration, which leads to more innovative thinking and faster, more informed decision making.
The cloud also provides the flexibility, agility and scalability you need to continuously improve the customer experience, adapt to customer needs, capitalize on new opportunities in the marketplace, and roll out new products and services. As we discussed in the previous post, when it comes to digital transformation, the customer is the star of the show, not technology.
The cloud allows your entire team, including IT staff, to focus on delivering the best possible customer experience rather than routine, repetitive tasks. You’ll spend more time using technology to meet customer expectations than managing and maintaining technology to keep the lights on. Remember, customers have plenty of choices and won’t hesitate to move on from your company if they’re not satisfied with the experience you provide.
Ultimately, you can’t successfully navigate digital transformation without the cloud. It’s that simple.
The cost-saving component of the cloud value proposition is still there. You can modernize your IT infrastructure and business processes without major investments in on-premises technology. But the communication, collaboration, and customer experience benefits are now driving cloud adoption.
Just like the cloud isn’t only about saving money, digital transformation isn’t about acquiring, replacing or upgrading technology. It’s about using technology in every area of your organization to improve how you operate and serve your customers.
If you’re considering a digital transformation initiative, the journey begins with cloud adoption. To learn more about how the cloud makes it possible to incrementally implement transformative solutions, contact us to schedule a consultation. Or better yet, sign up for our 60 Day Free Trial of Cloud Workspace.